By Kenneth C. Kowalewitz
Chair, South Hero Library Foundation Board
This is an exciting time for South Hero and your public library! Over $1.3 million has been raised of the $1.5 million goal needed to break ground. As one volunteer said, “With less than $200,000 to go, the goal is so close you can almost smell the dirt on the shovel!” There is a way for you to not only help put that shovel in the ground but also make your money go further.
The South Hero Library Foundation has applied to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for an Infrastructure and Sustainability Challenge Grant. The Challenge grant will match eligible funds raised by the community for the new South Hero library. All of the money raised for your new library since last October will count towards the required match. We won’t know whether or not we receive the match until August. Meanwhile, the NEH encourages all organizations who submit to this grant to let people know about the possible pending challenge. You can help put the shovel in the ground for the new library by making a contribution now – the contribution you make now will go toward the match.
In our application, we told the NEH about some of the exciting ways our programming will expand. These are also ways your gift can make a difference.
- Preschool story hour will be reinstated and a new play time added for young children.
- Home-schooled students and their parents will be able to share curriculum, host book clubs, and participate in a programming along with other Library patrons.
- Teens will have space to come to after school or in the evenings for book clubs, after-school homework help, and other programming geared to this age group.
- Retirees will enjoy programs including history lectures, book clubs, film screenings and discussions held during the day to make them more accessible.
- Community groups will have a comfortable, accessible space in which to meet.
Not only will this NEH Challenge grant help complete the build campaign, the funding will enable us to establish a reserve fund to help pay for operating costs. Why is a reserve fund needed for operating costs? The current Library allocation from the voters of South Hero covers the salary and benefits of your Library Director and her part-time assistant as well as a modest amount for programming and new acquisitions. A Reserve Fund will help ensure that the costs of your new, larger, free-standing Library will be met, as well as, allow increased operating hours and expanded programming.
Your gift or pledge will get that first shovel into the ground! Any amount helps. If you are interested in recognizing or remembering a loved one or friend through a gift, …just call Keagan, Library Director at 372-6209. There are opportunities to create a permanent memorial for a loved one with gifts that name features of the new library building with amounts ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.
Help the Library by following in our benefactor Ed’s Worthen’s footsteps. Ed was a long-time local resident and university professor who kick-started our building campaign by leaving his estate to the South Hero Library. Consider remembering your Library in your estate plans. Ask Keagan for more information and watch for additional information as our Legacy Society evolves.
Find out more about the campaign for your new Library at https://soherolibrary.wordpress.com . You can make a secure gift online by visiting the Library’s website www.southherolibrary.org and clicking the “Donate” button. Every donation to the building fund will go to create a community space that will be a resource for people of all ages. As the Library’s major benefactor, Ed Worthen, would say, “And On We Go…”. Here is to that first shovel of dirt! You can make it happen.